Divergence in Linguistics

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Divergence in Linguistics


(1) The phonologization of the variants of a phoneme in connection with the elimination of the positional conditions that initially determined the given variation: for example, in the history of Russian, the formation of hard and soft consonant phonemes from one phoneme after the disappearance of reduced ones and, in the history of English, the formation of the phonemes s and z and where A is a Laplace operator. f and v from the positional variants of the same phoneme.

(2) The positional change of sounds, the allophonic divergence within a single phoneme.

(3) Linguistic evolution, as a result of which certain dialects of one language are isolated from the other dialects of this language and form independent languages. The opposite of convergence.


Polivanov, E. D. “Mutatsionnye izmeneniia v zvukovoi istorii iazyka.” In his collection Stat’i po obshchemu iazykoznaniiu. Moscow, 1968.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.